Donna Alward brings us a remake of a Jane Austen Fave....Sense and Sensiblity!
A while back I taped the new Masterpiece Theatre version of Sense and Sensibility. I had my doubts I will admit. I ADORE the Emma Thompson version (wasn't that in 1995, the same year as Firth's Pride and Prejudice? I digress...), so I was worried this wouldn't live up to expectations. No cozy cottage here....good lord, all dismal and dreary on the edge of a cliff. And actors I didn't readily recognize (except Charity Wakefield and Janet Mc Teer). How could anyone possibly live up to Greg Wise's Willoughby, or Emma Thompson's Elinor? Or the meddlesome Mrs. Jenkins?
Well, ladies....move over Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant. There's some new casting in town and it's DELICIOUS.
No one does reticence like Rickman but it was easier to tumble in love with Colonel Brandon in this version. The essence of Brandon was there, but with a sense of gentleness and greatness that was lovely. David Morissey was wonderful. Kate Winslet fell for Brandon because he was a good man. This Marianne fell because he was WONDERFUL. :-) The one she'd been waiting for all along, only hadn't realized it. There were some truly great scenes.
And Hugh Grant...well, the scene where he tells Elinor he is, and always will be, hers, is lovely, but you know every time he was on screen I kept hearing the song Froggy Gone A Courtin'. He always looked so trussed up in his vests and collars.
Enter Dan Stevens. Gorgeous eyes, a ready smile, and hair you just want to SINK your fingers into. He does all the right things, and through it all comes through as a man you'd just like to get to know and share a pint (and a life) with. He was gallant, but he was also young, and with a sense of fun beneath the surface.
Dominic Cooper plays Willoughby. Not my cup of tea but great chemistry with Charity (Marianne). The scene where he cuts her lock of hair...oddly enough, the way he does it and pulls her shawl UP over her shoulders is just as intimate as if he were UNdressing her. It's the little touches...when he shows her his house and their fingers graze on the bannister, it's very sensual.
And Hattie Monaghan (did I spell that right) really grew on me as Elinor.
Thompson's script might have been heavier on the wit, but this was so romantic. Definitely a keeper.
Donna's next release is FALLING FOR MR DARK AND DANGEROUS and is out in hardback this month! Currently she is settling into her brand new home on Canada's east coast.